Can I flush it?

Help with our nationwide experiment!

Although most baby wipes or liners are not flushable, there are some brands that claim their wipes are safe to flush down the toilet. There are also many brands of disposable nappy liners which claim to be flushable. Skeptical as we like to be, we spoke to one of the technicians at United Utilities to find out if this is true. What we discovered was that for a product to be flushable, and therefore not pose a risk of blocking your water pipes, or contributing to giant fatbergs in the sewers, it should break up in water after 3 minutes of continuous agitation (See the “Shake it” experiment). According to Severn Trent, another water company we spoke to, anything labelled as “flushable” should break down after a wash in the washing machine (see “Wash it” experiment). Can you help us establish whether wipes or liners labelled as “flushable” are really all that flushable by taking part in one (or both!) of the experiments below?

Wash it” experiment: in this experiment you will simply put in the wash a baby wipe labelled as flushable and observe how it comes out of the wash.

Shake it” experiment: in this experiment you will put a baby wipe labelled as flushable in a tupperware box half filled with water and share it to the sound of music. How does it look after 3 minutes of intense shaking?

Results

And here’s results that we have collected so far for the liners and wipes labelled as flushable (note: in case you wondered, on all trials toilet roll came out as completely flushable and non-flushable wipes were, obviously, completely non-flushable).

table

These are just some of the products available on the market that are labelled as “flushable”. If you find any more, follow the instructions from either of the two experiments at the top of the page, shake those wipes/liners and fill in the survey. Every shake is useful and we will update the results with the data you gathered as soon as possible!

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